Ida B Wells
Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless advocate against injustice, renowned for exposing lynchings and fighting for women's equality. Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862, she became a teacher and journalist in Memphis. Her lawsuit against a railroad for segregation and her critical articles on Black schools led to her dismissal. Following a lynching, she extensively documented the atrocity, challenging the myth of the "New South." This enraged powerful figures, leading to the destruction of her newspaper and her relocation to Chicago. Wells-Barnett dedicated her life to combating lynching, publishing reports and advocating internationally. She married Civil Rights attorney Ferdinand L. Barnett, fought for suffrage, and co-owned a newspaper. Despite clashes with male leaders, she made significant contributions to the NAACP. In 2020, she received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize and was honored with a plaza named after her.
National Women’s History Museum